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BBC World News America

News/Business. U.S.-targeted nightly newscast. (CC) (Stereo)

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00:30:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

America 14, John Kerry 5, Syria 4, Washington 4, Damascus 3, Susan Rice 3, Us 3, Delta 2, Clinton 2, Barack Obama 2, Pbs 2, Burma 2, Iran 2, Kenya 2, Bbc 1, Stonehenge 1, Karzai 1, Mario Monti 1, Yeoman 1, Navy 1,
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  PBS    BBC World News America    News/Business. U.S.-targeted  
   nightly newscast. (CC) (Stereo)  

    December 21, 2012
    4:00 - 4:30pm PST  

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secretary of state, senator john kerry is nominated to be america's top diplomat. and good news -- the end of the world did not come today, but that did not stop some very colorful displays to mark the mine and events. -- the mayan event. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. one week after the horrifying shootings in newtown, connecticut, which left 20 children and six adults dead, the nation's top today to remember the victims, but it was also the day the country's leading gun lobby, the national rifle association, chose to lay out its case for why armed guards at every u.s. school would help prevent similar tragedies in the future. the bbc's north america editor reports.
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>> the church bells tolled out the exact time when a week ago a young man with an assault rifle began his massacre of children. they stood in prayer and in silence in the rain. in a town still numb, the bells tolled 26 times, one for each of the victims of the school. inside the white house, president obama and his staff since silent for a minute. beyond the grave, resolution. in a new video, he has promised he will push for a ban on assault rifles. >> i will do everything in my power as president to advance these efforts. if there's even one thing we can do as a country to protect our children, we have a responsibility to try. >> shame on the nra. >> there are those who blame the national rifle association for consistently, powerful lobbying against gun control. they have been consistently silent until now, and some expected they would seek
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compromise. none of it. instead, raw fury, blaming video games, the culture. >> we have blood-of films out there like "american psycho," "natural born killers." that are aired on saturday. fantasizing -- of killing people as a way get your kicks -- the filthiest form of pornography. >> taking no questions but unable to avoid the protests of first one protester but then another. >> the nra has blood on its hands. the nra has blood on its hands. >> he argued passionately that guns were not the problem but the solution, calling for armed police in all of america's 100,000 schools. >> the only thing that stops and a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. would you rather have your 911
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call bring a good guy with a gun from a mile away or from a minute away? >> the politician introducing the bill as a ban on assault rifles was not impressed. >> is this the answer -- that america should become an armed state? i don't think so, and i do not think that is the american dream. >> 20 minutes away, opinions on armed school guards are divided. >> i do not think that the taxpayers should be paying for a police officer in the school, but i think an armed guard is not a bad idea. >> for those few times it happens, do have a god in every school -- i do not know how effective it will be. >> america seemed to unite in greece this week over the massacre of innocents, but agreeing how to prevent such killings in the future is bound to divide the country for months to come.
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>> our north america editor reporting. here in washington today, there was a major announcement regarding president obama's cabinet. massachusetts senator john kerry was nominated to be the next secretary of state. after confirmation, the former presidential candidate will succeed hillary clinton to serve as america's top diplomat. so what can we expect from him in that role? for answers, i spoke to the former u.s. state department spokesman. of course, americans united nations ambassador, susan rice, was the top favorite. how effective will john kerry be? >> he has great spirits. in a sense, the obama administration has used him very effectively in the past four years. he was first on the ground in copenhagen with the climate change negotiations. he was inserted into the troubled relationship the united states has with pakistan. he has had effective
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conversations with president karzai, and he did some yeoman's work when it came to negotiations with south sudan. he has made his mark already in terms of conflict reduction, crisis mitigation. i think he will carry that experience into his new position. >> nevertheless, some would say he has enormous shoes to fill. hillary clinton has almost got a cult following among some people. how is his style going to be different to hers? >> you are talking about a man who ran for president in 2004. >> she tried to do that, too. >> he has his own persona, but he is quite experienced on a national stage, on a global stage, so i do not think he will shrink from the spotlight. >> but does he have that sort of personality, the charisma, the real kind of -- the bread and the debt that hillary clinton
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has -- the breadth and the depth that hillary clinton has? >> he may be a more traditional secretary of state. he may have these -- he may not have the same level out reached. he may take a more traditional role and approach. but the world gets to vote on his agenda. obviously, when he comes in, iran will be a key issue. syria will be a key issue. unwinding the war from a diplomatic stand on in afghanistan. there will be this very significant agenda as he becomes the chief diplomat in the united states. >> in tackling this questions, those big issues like iran, like syria where a lot of people are calling for much tougher action, how do you think he will respond to those problems? what will be his priority? >> you were saying earlier, the contrast between john kerry and susan rice. he knows barack obama well. they served together on the
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senate foreign relations committee. but he does not bring the relationship into the job that susan rice would have. part of it would be sitting down with the president and determining what is, aside from world events that are already on the to do list -- where does barack obama want to make his mark in the second term? middle east peace? global warming? immigration reform? obviously, that will determine to some extent where john kerry moves going forward. >> thank you very much for joining us. as we just heard, what to do about the ongoing civil war in syria will be one of the big questions facing the next secretary of state. nato accused the assad government today of continuing to fire more scud missiles on its own people, claiming it was an act of desperation of a regime nearing its end. making matters worse, the harsh conditions of winter are saddling in. an organization has spoken to many people inside syria and found the conditions they are in during.
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here is our world affairs correspondent. >> people queueing outside a bakery in damascus in recent days. residents of the capital and activists say there have been shortages of bread, and fighting has made it increasingly difficult for bread factories to operate. food shortages are part of the pressure on syrian families highlighted in today's report. >> this 2.5 million people who are homeless in the country. 3.5 million getting there. others are grounding rice to feed their children. >> the supply of electricity in damascus is becoming more erratic as well. more and more people are relying on generators with some shops saying they are selling as many as 25 generators a day. fuel is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and a cylinder of gas is now selling for up to four times the normal price. the impact of a conflict that
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has now lasted nearly two years isn't -- becoming increasingly hard to escape in the capital. in this recent video, trucks loaded with people's belongings make their way through the streets of the city. human rights organizations said that in the country as a whole, some 2.5 million people are not displaced. that is leaving aside all those who fled to neighboring countries. at this mass in damascus, the new syrian orthodox patriarch called for an end to the violence. >> we in antioch, he said, have got to inspire all parties in flaming the conflict to lay down their weapons they get nothing but destruction and devastation. for now, the conflict and deteriorating weather conditions inflict increasing misery on
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civilians. the prospect of peace through dialogue seems beyond reach. >> for more news around the world, there have been clashes in egypt was the second city of alexandria on the eve of the second stage of voting on the country's controversial constitution. islamists who backed the constitution were met by smaller groups of opposition protesters. police fired tear gas and cordoned off the area. italy's prime minister has resigned, meaning the country will go to the polls in february. mario monti's unelected government loses support from the population. he said he could no longer govern. 3 million were left in dire need of help, but the military government responded by blocking
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visas to international aid workers and a resting burmese activists who tried to deliver assistance. many towns and villages were left to their own devices to rebuild. our correspondent has recently visited some of those areas and has filed this report. >> a buddhist ceremony led by children, one of the larger townships in the delta. this is still a poignant sight for the people of the town. the 10,000 who died here, nearly half were children. outside the town, the rice harvest has been taken in. the delta has historically been seen as the rice bowl not just for burma but the surrounding countries, too. chronic neglect, though, by successive military governments and then the cyclone have left this region in dire need. >> looks can be deceiving in the delta. especially now, it is very
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green, and lots of rice ready to be harvested, but we have to remember, 70% of people in the delta do not own any land. they are very reliant on wage labor and the farming and fishing industry. a great deal of them live below the poverty line. >> the worst hit areas were kept off limits to journalists after the cyclone. even now, they are hard to reach. i was among a group of journalists taken to see some of the development projects funded by the european union, which the military government finally permitted once the scale of the disaster became clear. the great rivers that cut through this delta fly right alongside the village -- a lot right alongside the villages where most inhabitants live, and the wall of water pushed by the cyclone simply surged over year, smashing aside these houses and the people living in them. even 4.5 years later with all the help they are getting, they are still recovering.
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a simple clay stove, but now they have been taught to improve its design so that it uses much less fuel, and they can make money selling them to other villages. it cuts the cost of firewood and reduce it -- and improves the filling of mangrove trees, which cut care -- which can help protect against future cyclones. population village's died. it still proving a hard road back even to the very basic lives they had before. >> i lost everything. i had to hire machines to work my field. the quality was not always good. >> one of the projects funded by
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the eu is trying to test strains of rice to see which will produce the best crops in the sometimes salty soil. it is the kind of help other countries have been getting for decades. now burma's people have a chance to catch up. >> a long road ahead for burmese victims of the cyclone. you are watching "bbc world news america." still to come in tonight's program -- america's leaders are called many things, but are they really a work of art? the national portrait gallery says they are. to kenya now where there has been a brutal revenge attack on a small rural community. at least 39 people have been killed. many are thought to be from a tribe which has frequently clashed with farmers over access to land and water. police say the village was attacked at dawn by people with machetes.
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>> even with a beef up security presence in the county, the perpetrators of this morning's attack still managed to kill scores of people. injured but alive, these are some of those who survived the pre-planned raid. police said this was a revenge attack for a raid carried out earlier this year. in august and september, well over 100 people were killed in clashes. these people a traditionally farmers. most farm holders with many of them making a living by growing cash crops. on the other hand, the semi- nomadic pastor list roaming the land in search of pasture for their cattle. both communities depend heavily on the water, and they've been accused of grazing their cattle on the farming land. this has resulted in a longstanding conflict between the two groups.
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but some believe this recent and deadly tit-for-tat cycle of killing may be related to a redrawing of political boundaries in the country's new constitution. five years ago, violence erupted after disputed general elections with the clashes centered in the west valley and the capital. more than 1000 people were killed. officials are working hard to avoid a repeat during next march's presidential election, but these episodes of violence around the country are raising fears that parts of kenya macy violence during the voting period. >> now to the ongoing negotiations to prevent the so- called fiscal cliff we have mentioned. there are just 10 days to go until this potentially damaging combination of tax increases and spending cuts goes into effect,
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but so far, the politicians seem no closer to averting the plunge. president obama is pressing for action. he had this to say just a few minutes ago. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reid. i have asked the leaders of congress to prevent tax hikes on middle-class americans, protect unemployment insurance for 2 million americans, and lay the groundwork for further work. that is an achievable goal. that can get down in 10 days. >> president obama there on the upcoming fiscal cliff. joining me now to discuss the standoff is the bbc's ben wright. thank you very much. was there anything in the president's speech that would give us any cause for optimism that is the cliff can beat averted? >> i thought his tone was
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interesting. he was optimistic an exasperated at the same time. he reminded people in congress they only have 10 days left to find a deal before there's this huge hike in taxes and cuts in spending. he said a deal of some sort is an achievable goal. he reminded people in congress that nobody can get 100% of what they want. democrats are trying to protect spending. republicans are fighting any tax increases at all, but he had a warning, too, and said it is not the time for more self-inflicted wounds. he knows the consequences of america going off the cliff. >> presumably, it is also not the time for more political posturing. we've had months now of this political theater. and the markets are reacting. they have closed down. surely the financial crisis is now upon us. >> that is absolutely true. he said actually american people understand the need for compromise, doing a deal on all sorts of things in life. he said that their elected representatives do not follow the same pattern of behavior and
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should start doing that. he is conceding that america currently has a dysfunctional political system in washington, and it is taking it to the edge of the fiscal cliff with all the consequences that we know will follow. the consequences are being revealed in the reaction of the markets here in america and in europe. people know the recession could follow if they do not do a deal, and that is why he is trying to get one. >> thank you very much for joining us. there is still no deal yet, but as the economic crisis has shown, 2012 will not be known as the year of political unity in washington. it may come as a surprise, but some of the nation's leaders have been immortalized in a work of art. "the network" is a video installation done by an artist. i went to the national portrait gallery where it is on display. >> 4, 3, 2, 1. [applause] >> washington's elite gathering for the first glimpse of themselves in a video portrait
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that enshrines them in art and history. >> lo and behold, we get this gift. and 89 americans were chosen by the artist to represent contemporary leadership. some are less recognizable than others, but all our leaders in their field. the results -- a constantly changing snapshot of power. >> within the realm of contemporary arts, it needs to be at the table for conversations about politics and policy. what i am really hoping for this project is that it goes out to a larger conversation nationally and globally about the people who are really setting the agenda in american politics, which are really global politics. >> the selection of subjects was made via that other network -- facebook. a video brings them to light. >> the people in this work represents the highest echelon of the power and innovation in america. to get them all in the same
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place and in the same video is power in a self, but to turn them into an art form -- not many people would think of that. >> when i got the idea of having a permanent collection about people that was a video so that what you heard was their voice in real time for posterity, if i may say with only a little bit of humility, was just wonderful fun. >> they want to talk about what you do, and that was interesting because it makes you think about, if i've got 20 or 30 minutes to talk about what i would do, there are lots of different things you would do. what do you want to focus on? pets, kids, work? what about work? >> i look back at my roots. my father was an inventor, an engineer. i grew up in an engineering family. it was a logical progression of smaller, younger experiences leading up to now, helping lead the navy in innovation.
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>> the portrait gallery has decided that it is a piece of art, worthy of acquisition and permanent display. weather history will treat all of its subjects as kindly is open to further judgment. >> and we will wait and see. as you may have guessed by now, the much-hyped end of the world failed to materialize, and we are all still here, but that did not stop thousands of people from flocking to sacred sites around the globe as the doomsday predicted by the end of the mayan calendar drew ever closer. >> stonehenge at dawn, and 5000 people turned up to celebrate the winter solstice. five times more than last year. it seems 21st century intrudes like the ancient mayas also believe in cycles of time. >> the thing i expect to happen today apart from this wonderful
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gathering is a new age, and hopefully, it is going to the new age with new ideas and new thought processes that do not involve destroying the planet on which we live. >> what would happen at 11:11 this morning uk time when the cycle was due to end? with the world and as well? no was the answer. live television coverage of the mayan heartland in mexico continued uninterrupted except for a poorly timed phone call. if they were disappointed by the anticlimax in this french town, it did not show. the local mountain was supposed to be a safe haven as the world ended with aliens poised to with the believers to safety. the aliens never turned up -- at least not the real ones.
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>> it is not the end of the world, but that does bring to this program to a close. for the next week and a half, you will continue to get all the day's news from our colleagues in london, and we will be back on january 2. until then, have a wonderful holiday season. we will see you in 2013. >> make sense of international news. bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu newman's own foundation and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard
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to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions. we offer expertise and tailored solutions in a wide range of industries. what can we do for you? >> "bbc world news
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- hi, neighbour! today we're going to visit my school for the very first time! and then we're going to my doctor's office to see dr. anna. will you come with me? ok, let's go! is made possible in part by... the richard king mellon foundation. dedicated for over sixty years to south western pennsylvania's quality of life, and competitive future. and by these pittsburg foundations. working together to enhance and enrich the lives of children for more than seventy-five years. and by the arthur vining davis foundations. dedicated to strengthening america's future through education.
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adcasting, dedicated to strengthening america's future and contributions to your pbs station, from viewers like you. n the neighbourhood ♪ and contributions to your pbs station, ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ would you be mine? ♪ could you be mine? ♪ won't you be my neighbour? - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ a land of make-believe ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ it's daniel tiger's neighborhood ♪ ♪ so much to do, so much to see ♪ ♪ won't you ride along with me? ♪ - ♪ ride along - ♪ i've got lots of friends for you to meet ♪ ♪ in this land of make-believe ♪ a friendly face on every street ♪ just waiting to greet you ♪ it's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood ♪ ♪ a beautiful day for a neighbour ♪ ♪ in daniel tiger's neighborhood! ♪ - hi neighbour! come on in! today i'm going to visit my new school.
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do you go to school? i'm going to see what my new school will be like. will you come with me? i'm feeling a little nervous. - ugga mugga, daniel tiger. are you ready to go see your new school? - yes. i mean... no. - no? hmm. you know what i always say: - ♪ when we do something new ♪ let's talk about what we'll do ♪ - ♪ when we do something new like go to school! - ♪ let's talk about what we'll do ♪ so, let's talk. hmm. will we play with... hmm. blocks? - oh, yes. lots of blocks at school. - hmm! but i'll bring my red block... just in case. (mom chuckles.) - just in case.